How much fun can you have for $10 these days? Quite a lot if you know where to find it. From Melbourne Festival’s shiny new installation to a crafty cocktail, here’s the lowdown on the loose-change high life.
1. Mid-week margaritas at Hello José and the espresso martini happy hour at Melbourne Public.
You’ll feel sophisticated at op-shop prices with a $10 cocktail in hand. A midweek margarita at merry Mexican joint Hello José on Wednesday or Thursday? Or an espresso martini at Melbourne Public during their extra-long 4-7pm weekday happy hour? At $10 a pop, why not both?
2. Cheap movie nights at Cinema Nova and Kino
Going to the movies is pricey – unless you time it right. On Mondays, tickets are $7 before 4pm and $9 after at Cinema Nova, and $8.50 all day at Kino Cinema. Sit back, relax, and enjoy millions of dollars in movie-making for peanuts.
3. Free comedy at Spleen
Comedy at Spleen is a Monday night stand-up session where newbies rub shoulders with the big guns. Seriously? Yes, we’re talking Wil Anderson and Eddie Perfect big. Entry is free, though a gold-coin donation is appreciated.
4. Tuesday night burlesque and comedy at Speakeasy HQ
Speakeasy HQ knows you don’t have to splash a lot of cash for a good time. Tuesday Night Burlesque and Comedy also features jazz, circus and sideshow acts: four hours of vaudeville-style entertainment for just $9. With happy hour drink specials and their tasty house nachos, it’s worth staying out on a school night.
5. $6 pizzas at El Coco
Named after the palm tree planted in the first Bacardi distillery in Cuba in 1862, El Coco is a colourful bar with a reasonably priced, Cuban-inspired menu and great cocktails. You’ll find arancini and popcorn chicken for $9 but, best of all, the pizzas are $6 all day, every day. Anyone for the lamb pizza, topped with potato, caramelised onion, sour cream and tender lamb shoulder?
6. Swim at Melbourne City Baths
After all that indulgence you may need a little healthy living, but that doesn’t have to mean pricey personal training or wellness retreats. Swim at the beautiful heritage Melbourne City Baths for less than $7, and let the day’s stresses melt away.
7. Take a trip through the House of Mirrors
Two Melbourne artists have created a modern House of Mirrors on a grand scale that will delight and disorient in equal measure. No doorway, corridor or wall can be trusted in this immersive Melbourne Festival installation, constructed using 15 tonnes of mirrored glass. Whether for fun or personal reflection, a visit is $10 well spent.
8. Beer paddle at Hophaus
If you’re more of a beer kind of guy or gal, the tasting paddle at Hophaus is always $10. Choose four beers from the nine on tap and ponder a trip to Bavaria.
9. Coffee Cupping at Seven Seeds
In a coffee mood? One of Melbourne’s pedigree coffee roasters and retailers, Seven Seeds offers cupping sessions on Tuesday mornings for a $4 donation. Women for Women in Africa get the cash, and you learn about and appreciate several premium coffees’ body, sweetness, acidity and flavour.
10. Morning meditation at M Pavilion
Or, head to a free mid-week morning meditation session at MPavilion in the picturesque Queen Victoria Gardens. With a coffee before or after from Centro Espresso across the road, start the day right for less than $5. Runs Wednesdays in October.